This paper examines the issues of front‐line workers within residential childcare, giving their feelings on how recent government sponsored quality enhancement initiatives have impacted on service delivery. Residential childcare has been at the forefront of government sponsored quality developments since the early 1990s. It reflects many of the problems and dilemmas faced by the wider personal social services sector when applying performance enhancement techniques. It has low status, is poorly resourced, and provides a service for “customers” who have multiple needs, but have little say in relation to their referral for provision. The findings from this study give support to the contention that for front‐line workers, many of the government's quality initiatives are limited or irrelevant to the “real” task of providing a service to residents – continuous improvement requires the practical benefits of a structured and planned performance enhancement culture, and the appropriate resources to achieve that goal.
International Journal of Public Sector Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 1, 2004
Keywords: Residential social services; Child care; Quality improvement; Carer’s; Management activities; Scotland
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